Debra (h2so4 14)

Song by Beck

There’s this Beck song, on the Midnite Vultures CD, that I just LOVE LOVE LOVE. It is such a brilliant deconstruction of a cheesy pickup. It brings me right back to high school. In the tradition of a soul ‘slow jam,’ Beck sings about a girl he’s just met at the mall in a high, Michael Jackson-like falsetto (from the “ABC”days), complete with “ooooh!”s and “oh GIRL!”s, noodly bass solos, and tons of brass (saxaphone, trumpets).

So the song starts, and you hear about Jenny, the girl Beck is cold stepping to. He croons to her that she’s the only one, she’s the only one thathas the thing that he has just got to get with. He sounds sort of cheesy and dubious, like a player, with his smooth lines and self-assured moves. Then, as you are taken up into a pumping crescendo, Beck screaming “GIRL, I’ve just got to get with you, only you...” he breaks it down, “and your sister, I think her name is Debra....”

Hahahahaha, that is so classic, because you realize that he must have already known who she was, if he already knows that she has a sister, and he’s just flattering her to get a three-way. And it’s so perfect that he has that total porn fantasy of sisters. HA! And then he describes their first date, it goes like this:

“I pick you up late at night, after work/ I said lady/ step into my Hyundai/ I’m going to take you up to Glendale/ yeah, gonna take you for a real good meal.” So here he is sounding sort of romantic, he has a nice conventional dinner date in mind. But BAM! Then he says “Ain’t no use wasting no time getting to know each other, you know the deal.” And then he goes back to describing how he wants to get with her and her sister Debra.

I listened to this song about fifty times in a row before I could tear myself away to listen to the rest of the album. Run, don’t walk, and pick up your copy of Midnite Vultures now!

Liz Dunn